January 2014 | Arrests Possible in Shooting That Killed Horse
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Arrests Possible in Shooting That Killed Horse

January 2014 - Stephanie Shertzer Lawson

A horse pulling an Amish buggy in Lancaster County was the victim of a drive by shooting on November 24, and died shortly thereafter.

The horse was shot by someone in a passing vehicle in East Lampeter Township around 9 pm on November 24.

The buggy was traveling north in the 100 block of North Ronks Road when the vehicle passed it and the occupants heard what they thought was a firecracker. Both vehicles continued on without stopping.

The buggy continued home, about a mile, and as the owner started to unhook the buggy he found blood on the horse’s mouth. A vet was called but the horse died shortly before he arrived. The family, which had owned the horse for 13 years, was travelling home from a church function.

The occupants of the buggy, a family of five, included three children ages 12, 9 and 7. No one was hurt, though police reported the family was "distraught" over the horse’s death. The mother, father and their three children in the buggy could not provide any description of the suspect vehicle, other than to say it was a car and not a truck or a sport utility vehicle.

Hopeful of Arrest
East Lampeter Township Police Lt. Robin Weaver was limited in what he could report as Pennsylvania Equestrian went to press, but said he was hopeful an arrest will be made.

A necropsy was performed on the horse and part of a projectile was recovered, he said. It was sent to the Pennsylvania State Crime Lab.

"We have had several tips from the public which have been helpful," he said. "We are still investigating and running down information. We have good information and are pursuing every lead and all evidence. We should be able to release more information early in the week of December 23, with more to come."

The shooter displayed "extreme indifference to human life" and, if caught, faces charges of cruelty to animals and endangering another person, he said.

"The story generated quite a bit of news media interest all over the country," Weaver said. "We’ve gotten calls from Kentucky, California, Time Warner, the Reuters news agency."

A number of callers offered to replace the horse for the family or to donate funds for a reward. Those calls were forwarded to the Amish family or to the Lancaster County Crimestoppers Program, he said.